Jamestown went on a tremendous run during this boys basketball postseason, and – not surprisingly – that resulted in the Red Raiders making a major move in The Buffalo News large school poll.
Jamestown’s memorable playoff run, which included a huge victory over Section V (Rochester area) Class AA champion Greece-Athena in the Far West Regionals and an appearance in the state championship game, led it to its second large school poll championship in four years.
Jamestown equaled its feat of 2011 – when it also advanced to the Class AA state championship game – as eight of 10 voters put the Red Raiders in the top spot, over season-long No. 1 Canisius. The transition at the top was surely aided by Canisius’ upset loss to Nichols in the Manhattan Cup semifinals.
The achievement continues quite a school year for the Red Raiders, which shared the top spot in The News final large school football poll with Canisius.
Large school pollsters: Mark Simon (St. Joe’s of the Monsignor Martin Association), Kyle Husband (Canisius/Monsignor Martin), Ben Drake (Jamestown/ECIC I), Erik O’Bryan (Niagara Wheatfield/Niagara Frontier League), Al Monaco (Fredonia State assistant), Steve Allen (official), Benjy Bluman (official), Chad Andrews (View From Centercourt blog), Dave Universal (New York State Sportswriters Association poll), Keith McShea (The Buffalo News).
Olean hits another big three
Olean also concluded its season in the state final at Glens Falls, bringing a conclusion to an outstanding run by a core group that included seniors Wil Bathurst, Sam Eckstrom, Nick Schmidt and Luke Hennessy. It is the third straight season in which coach Jeff Anastasia’s Huskies, three-time champions of Class B in Section VI, finished atop the small school poll.
Small school pollsters: Randall Rich (Middle Early College of the Yale Cup), Larry Jones (ECIC III/Depew), Tony Krupski (JFK/ECIC IV), Brett Sippel (Wilson/Niagara-Orleans), Brian Koscielniak (Salamanca/CCAA II), Derek Hill (official), Andrew Webster (Prep Talk blog contributor), Andrews, Universal, McShea.
Major postseason events
• Many of the players celebrated on these pages will be honored at the third annual Buffalo News/BCANY Awards banquet Monday at Ilio DiPaolo’s Restaurant. The event is supported by The Buffalo News, the Basketball Coaches Association of New York, ADPRO Sports and UNYTS.
• Tryouts for the Niagara PAL/ACE All-Star Classic will be held Tuesday at Niagara Falls (5 p.m. freshmen/sophomores; 6:30 for juniors/seniors). The games are at Falls on Thursday, starting with the freshman/sophomore game at 6. Underclassmen must have played varsity this season to try out. Contact Niagara Falls coach Sal Constantino at 228-7916
The teams that finished on the top of this year’s large school poll have agreed to face each other next season in a marquee matchup of the ADPRO Public/Private Challenge.
Jamestown and Canisius will meet at 4:15 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20, in the last of 10 games over three days. The site will be St. Joe’s after Canisius hosted the event this past season. Other games include: St. Mary’s-Middle Early College and Park-Cheektowaga on Dec. 18; Nichols-Silver Creek and St. Joe’s-Kenmore West on Dec. 19 and Bishop Timon-St. Jude-Williamsville South in the game preceding Jamestown-Canisius.